A recent MIT grad fell to his death while climbing on the campus' famed engineering dome. Authorities say Nicholas Paggi, a 24-year-old who graduated in 2015 with degrees in engineering, computer science, and physics, fell off the Great Dome of the Barker Engineering Lab while with friends on Tuesday night. The dome is known as a site for stunts such as students hanging banners, but Paggi's family says he and his friends that night had no grand plans other than hanging out. "He came down the side of one of the roofs, came across the front and slipped going back up the other side," mom Helga Paggi tells WBZ-TV. His brother tells the New York Post that weather played a role: "It was raining, and he slipped."
Paggi worked as a software engineer at a firm based in Lexington, Mass., but he remained a consultant in the school's D-Lab, which develops technology for poor nations. The director of a tech group who worked with him there echoes a common refrain: Paggi was a brilliant programmer. "Nick was well-read, had a great sense of humor, and I always enjoyed having conversations with him discussing the future of technology and artificial intelligence," he says, per school newspaper the Tech. "The world has lost a kind soul and great thinker." Paggi's family has begun a crowd-funding campaign to establish a scholarship in his honor at his high school in Toms River, NJ. (This UConn student was killed in a freak accident in October.)